Onion and Sage Sourdough

This bread basically tastes like stuffing.

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So you start off with some sweet, softened onions and fresh sage. And then throw in some dried sage as well because why not.

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Leave your dough for a cold overnight fermentation in the fridge to get that bread flavour.

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Tip it out and admire the pretty rings your banneton made on the dough.

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Get excited about the bread lame (some fancy-ass bread scoring knife) that your flatmate got for you for Christmas. And then get disappointed about the poor scoring job you did anyway (see notes).

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But then it was all worth it in the end because you get an unbelievably soft crumb, paired with a crisp caramelised crust, with the subtle sweetness from the onions and the aroma of the herbs.

This bread is fantastic paired with soup (or on its own), and freezes well too. Just slice the bread up and freeze the slices, and then toast the slice off when you’re ready to eat.

I got the recipe from here but followed my own timings and temperatures. I also did not use a Dutch oven because I don’t have one (sad). I also omitted the whole wheat flour because I ran out (sad).

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 350g water
  • 125g sourdough starter (mine was at 100% hydration, see notes)
  • 10g salt
  • 1 large white onion
  • About 20g sage
  • 1 tbsp dried sage

Method

  1. Mix the flour, water, and starter in a bowl and cover with cling film. Let autolyse for 30 mins (basically just let it sit, see notes).
  2. Meanwhile, chop up your white onion and soften over medium heat. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Chop up your fresh sage. Set aside.
  4. When your dough is done autolysing add salt, onion, and the fresh and dried sage. I mixed using the pincer and fold method.
  5. Stretch and fold your dough four times over the next 2 hours (so every 30 mins).
  6. Cover the dough and let rise in the fridge overnight.
  7. In the morning, turn your dough out into your banneton. Shape your dough by basically pulling the dough from the sides of the ball towards the center.
  8. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours.
  9. 15 mins before baking, preheat your oven to 260°C with a baking tray half-filled with water at the bottom of the oven to create a steam oven.
  10. Tip out your dough onto a lined baking tray. Score your bread if you want with either a bread lame or the sharpest knife in your kitchen.
  11. Place the bread in the steam oven. Mist the oven generously with a spray bottle to generate more steam. Bake at 260°C for 30 mins. Then reduce the temperature to 200°C and bake for 20 mins or until done. Bread is done when it is well browned and when you tap it it sounds hollow
  12. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

  • My starter was at 100% hydration. This bread was about 74% hydration. If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out my previous recipe on classic white sourdough.
  • Autolysing just means letting your flour sit with the water before you add any salt or yeast. This is supposed to make the bread easier to handle and have better structure and taste since the flour absorbs the water or something. More here.
  • Turning and folding means you don’t knead the dough. It’s just an alternative method to build structure in the dough usually used for higher hydration sourdoughs, but it can be used for any bread really. Up to your personal preference.
  • Scoring helps direct the shape your bread will rise when baked. And it looks pretty.
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